365 Days of Blogging: Personal Writing Challenge ACCEPTED

I woke up late on New Year’s Day and thought about this blog and about being a writer and all of the things that that means. I want writing to be a daily habit (it nearly is). Why not challenge myself to write a blog post a day for the next 365 days? Make 2015 my Year of Blogging Dangerously? accepted2

I debated keeping it to myself, but if I post it, maybe that will keep me honest. :D

So there you go, Internet. I am unleashing my inner authorly Kraken.

Brace yourselves! IMG_4589 IMG_4766 IMG_4904

And now, a poem: September Haze

September haze 

Warm and sweet with the scent of gentle rot

Thick air like soup blurring the moon

Pockets of yellow on shields of green

Heavy dewfall soaking the earth

Last breaths of summer slipping through the chill

A season on the fence, teetering uncertainly

Faltering

Unwilling to go

Unable to stay.

New School Year Resolutions

It’s honestly as bad as the calendar New Year, for me. The season changes, I go back to work, and I make all kinds of lofty, well-intentioned vows to be a better person. I will follow up more consistently, throughout the semester! (burnout on phone calls and tracking lates usually happens by October); I will keep up with marking and housework at the same time! (if I had four arms and two heads, maybe); I will not let my students take advantage of me! (yeah, right). 

And so on. 

I did get up nice and early today, and I did 15 minutes of yoga. Breakfast was yogurt and blueberries (fresh and local!). But I have started out strong like this in the past, hitting the ground running at a terrific sprint, only to lose steam just a couple of weeks in. So at this point, I’m feeling rather skeptical towards myself. 

The second day tends to be very much harder than the first. 

So I shall try to stay focused on the positives, like refreshing my room by changing a bulletin board display and making new signage, framing the photos from our field trip to Ottawa ComicCon and preparing for FanExpo this weekend. Bridget’s costume is hemmed, and the straps are on, so she just needs paint for the joints and makeup and the bib. And then I can do my own. If I have enough energy.

Seems like I’m forever doing too much or not enough. Maybe I just thrive in a bit of creative chaos . . .

The Spine of my Supernatural Fandom

As I’ve been catching up on Supernatural, I realized over the last few days one of the things that makes the show so attractive to me: 

It’s all about the books and the research.    

Yes, there are fights and struggles and angst, good-looking people and down-home people just trying to save the world for the rest of us schmoes, and I do love the paranormal, the magick, the demons and monsters and angels (oh my!), and the writing is terrific. I really dig the meta stuff. But what I love the most is when the Winchesters (and Bobby) have to search through layers of book-held lore to find answers. 

And oh, those books . . .   

Sexy old tomes made of parchment and rag, or worse; hand-bound in leather, edges frayed, dirtied by the hands of time . . . Ancient handbooks on myth and legend, some written in the dead languages, illustrated and calligraphied and illuminated. Folks, I’m calling Supernatural what it really is: Book P0rn.  I think I would have a hard time thinking of a problem that Sam and Dean couldn’t solve without, at some point in the process, having to do the reading, old-school. I enjoy the Internet research they do as well, but on so many occasions, the information they need is so arcane, they have to go poring through old books, even breaking into closed libraries and locked offices to get to them.  Do you know what I’d give for a weekend (or longer!) to poke around in Bobby Singer’s collection of books?       And the books are everywhere in Bobby’s house! They’re stacked on the stairs! Piled by the windows! Unsteady towers of books beside crammed bookcases and layers of open pages on the desk! 

I am so glad I got back into this show, if only for the bibliophilic eye-candy. 

Turning Bridget into FNAF Chica

The leggings are nearly done, just needing elastic, and the top requires hemming and straps. Bridget says she will make the bib!

   
    
    
 
Oh, and adding the joint lines with paint. I don’t think I’m going to worry about trying to cut out sections and adding black fabric inlays, but I’m reeeeeaaalllyy really tempted . . .

Cosplaying Construction Conundrums Continued!

The boy’s Deadpool is nearly complete! Got the mask 95% done, but for some lacing or Velcro at the back. Very thankful to my mother, who made the original unitard two years ago, and to hubby for finding his old Actar head, highly useful for fixing the eyes. Adding Velcro to fix the neck tomorrow, and then his accessories are up to him. But it looks good!  

    
   
Next is to cut out and pin and sew Miss Bridget’s top and bottom. I’ve cut up an old pair of leggings to use as a pattern, and I think her top will be a simple sleeveless tank. She says she will make the bib, and then it’s just makeup. Hoping that part won’t take forever to apply.

  
  
Must remember to get either yellow hairspray or enough yellow makeup for her hair. Maybe just a fascinator on a headband?

As for me, I think I’m looking at Steampunk. I’ve found a few lengths of brown pleather and stretchy material that I might be able to coax into becoming a simple corset over a peach frilly blouse, and that plaid skirt can be remade into a dapper bustle with minimum effort. I just really would like to mash Steampunk with a literary or pop culture character. Any ideas?

With the plaid, I could call to mind Claire Fraser, but she’s already in the past.

I’d love to do Steampunk Wonder Woman, but I’m short on what I would need as accessories. 

Steampunk Lady Sherlock? Damnit, I’d need a deerstalker for that. 

Might have to be just generic, but awesome, Steampunk. With a feathery pen instead of a sword, holstered on my hip or maybe — saucily — on my thigh.   

 
Daring and demure, sexy yet smart, adventurous but polite. Yes. This could work!

Building Deadpool-Jack

After researching several very complicated patterns for Deadpool masks that I have neither time nor patience for, I finally decided just to make a simple balaclava, tweaked slightly at the crown to match Deadpool’s pointy head-thing, and the work has continued. 

  
   
 
I’m going with white cross-stitch mesh for the eyes, which is surprisingly handy for stabilizing the slippery/stretchy black fabric. That part is taking a bit, and I should have done the eyes and attached them to the mask before sewing the two halves together, but I’ll make it work. 

   
   
I’d like to get the thing done tonight, if I can. We shall see!

Back to the Cosplaying Conundrum

So the tickets and wristbands are in our possession for FanExpo, and school supplies having also been procured, we now turn to the problem of dressing for the convention.

I’ve completed the alterations on Jack’s Deadpool unitard so it’s more form-fitting. He needs help setting up design and construction of his mask. Plus painting up some Nerf guns, a foam board sheath and sword, and making a utility belt and holsters. At least he’s got high boots and gloves!

  
And then Bridget wants to be Chica from Five Nights at Freddy’s. Basically, I need to find or make a yellow top and leggings, a white bib that says “Let’s Eat!”, and black, white, and yellow makeup. And shoe covers. If I get enough makeup, we can do her whole arms and hands as well as her face and hair. She’s averse to a mask, unfortunately, although I think that would be easier in many ways. 

  
Hubby is all over tweaking / upgrading his Steampunk gear from last year. 

So then there’s me. 

I didn’t even start on anything this summer in part because I wasn’t sure we were even going, and other things took priority. Now . . . I want to wear something awesome, powerful and sexy, but I’m running out of time, resources, and I’m stuck in glasses with short hair. 

So I need your help! 

Here is a list of the assets I do have at hand:

  • Long hooded reversible cloak, sleeveless. One side is brown, the other is ivory.
  • Blue v-neck dress cut on the bias, diagonal hem, jersey fabric. Wore it last year as part of my Wonder Woman / Firefly mashup.
  • Assorted dress shirts
  • Doctor Who scarf (Jack’s)
  • Bowties
  • Various lengths of pleather, mostly brown
  • Grey sheeting (meant for a Weeping Angel costume that isn’t going to happen yet)
  • Antique ivory shawl
  • Hawaian shirts
  • Chef coats and aprons
  • Cayley’s parasol from Firefly
  • Lots of embroidery thread
  • Lots of yarn
  • Floral bedsheets from a double we no longer have

The makings of something awesome are in there, I just know it. I just can’t figure it out on my own. I don’t necessarily want to be an elf, because I don’t have the ear tips. Nor do I really want to be a Jedi. I’ve thought maybe about going Steampunk, but I really want something from one of my fandoms, or to mash things up. Sadly, my Adipose bit the dust after ComicCon, so I can’t be Miss Foster again. 

I thought maybe about borrowing a lab coat from the school to be Osgood. But I’m not sure I really want my neck wrapped in a wooly scarf for this — FanExpo is a sweaty place to be!

I also thought about being a security guard from FNAF but that would feel unbalanced: I would match Bridget but not Jack or Hubby.

This is a careful business. It’s not as simple as a Hallowe’en costume. I want to feel awesome, not ridiculous — too often, I feel ridiculous. So if you have any suggestions from the list of resources above, I am all ears. 👂🏻👂🏻👂🏻